And this year’s scandals could see pay reduced further.
A total of 14 per cent of banks across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa clawed back some compensation payments last year, while another three per cent claimed back the payments but have yet to see the money returned.
More pay is expected to be reclaimed this year – 62 per cent now have claw-back provisions in place, up from 44 per cent in 2011.
And as banks take an increasingly long-term view on bonuses, more deferred payments are set to be reduced or cut entirely as apparently strong performance in one year may turn out to be unsustainable three or four years down the line.
HR specialists Mercer praised banks for their effort in ensuring bonuses are tied to performance.
“It is critical for a firm to maintain a forward-looking long-term incentive programme, particularly for top executives, in order to keep them consistently tied to the future success of the company,” said partner Vicki Elliott.